Stop Starring in Your Own Movie
There is a part of all of us that wants to be a star. Whether you secretly wish for your “star moment” or you are intentionally pursuing a starring role at work or in the movies, part of human nature yearns to be special.
It is your healthy ego that wants to express your individual talents. However, there can be a darker side to your ego if it is self-centered and craving for attention.
Here in the United States, after two years of the pandemic, the summer mega-hit movies are finally coming out. There are more hero-action films than ever, including sequels starring about every action figure ever created.
When looking at the list of movies, we are reminded of the phrase we heard from a spiritual teacher. He said: “One way to stop life’s internal suffering is to give up being the star of your own movie.”
If you think about it, life is like a movie with different scenes and episodes. If you interpret every scene from the point of view that you are the center of attention, then everything about life becomes about you.
Donna recently had an experience of what “life as a movie” feels like. Here is what happened:
She was leaving a local grocery store on an average day with nothing different than her usual stop for groceries. For some reason, on this day, as she walked out of the store toward her car, she had the sensation of being on a movie set. She visualized the director in the back of the parking lot, directing the action, lights, and cameras. The other people walking in and out of the store were “extras” on her movie set. She was the star of this scene, as she walked out of the store toward her car.
Then she had an epiphany. “We are all moving through life being the star of our own movie! If unaware, this is what every event in life is like, with each person being their own star at the same time,” she said to herself.
The conflict this causes by starring in our own movie is a self-centered approach to life—wanting the spotlight and action on us. However, other people are also starring in their own movie, competing with you for show time. If everyone wants to be a star in every scene, the stage is set for an award-winning “soap opera” of drama!
What if you do not like the drama story script that you have created for yourself? Do you see it as unchangeable and feel victimized by the script you have written? Maybe you believe the script has been written by someone else and you are starring in a soap opera you don’t even like.
We are not suggesting that you should cease creating your role in the movie of life. We are suggesting that a full-time starring role can cause you suffering and will result in a Dreaded Drama script for your life. We are simply suggesting that you reduce how often you make life about you.
As you observe yourself today, notice:
- Am I overly shining the cameras and lights onto myself?
- In this movie script, do I have a strong need to be right and have the best lines?
- Do I expect everyone else to listen to my lines rather than I listening to theirs, or
- Am I playing small and not stepping into the role I am meant to play?
Hopefully, this movie metaphor will support you to see what script you have written for your life. Now you, as a Creator of your life, you can choose to direct your “best story,” written just for you, one scene at a time.